Immigration and International Trade E-Alert
New Puerto Rican Birth Certificate Law Effective Date Extended Until October 31
On September 23, 2010, Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuño extended the validity of birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 to U.S. citizens born in Puerto Rico for 30 days, until October 30, 2010, according to Secretary of State, Kenneth D. McClintock, "to assure that no citizen who truly needs a certificate for a transaction in the foreseeable future will be left without a valid certificate as a result of the measures taken by the government of Puerto Rico, in coordination with the Federal government, to combat the massive fraud that was causing thousands of American citizens born in Puerto Rico to be the victims of ID theft."
As of October 31, 2010, no birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 can be presented for any purpose.
In order to prevent the Vital Statistics Office in Puerto Rico from being overwhelmed during this transition, Secretary McClintock recommended to the public that only Puerto Ricans "who plan to make some transaction in November, December, or January, which would require a new birth certificate should request one during the 37 days before their old certificate expires."
McClintock also reminded the public that the new birth certificates must be maintained by the U.S. citizen for life. "You can be asked to show your birth certificate so it can be copied or information taken from it but the new birth certificate issued after July 1, 2010 should be held by the citizen for life, not filed away in a school or other place where it can be stolen to steal the identity of an American citizen born in Puerto Rico."